What I found most interesting about Part III of Endurance is that it seems like Shackleton is beginning to unravel. Once the picture of optimism, he is now beginning to take that "optimism" to the level of refusing to let the men adequately prepare to spend winter on the floes. In the first chapter, Orde-Lees kills three seals and requests assistance to retrieve them. Shackleton does not permit any men to get the seals because in his mind, he feels that preparing for winter would be an acceptance of defeat. While this optimism made him a great leader and Macklin felt that just to be in his presence was an experience, other men could not understand why he wouldn't want to be prepared for the winter. If I were in their position, I would want to have as much food stored up as possible. Also, I feel that the more game that they catch and are able to eat, the more stores they will be able to save for when the animals leave in the winter. I would be very frustrated with this decision by Shackleton. A lot of the men shared this sentiment. When the food situation became critical, they all remembered that "the Boss" had refused to let them take in extra meat. A sense of mutiny is on the rise. Also, I feel that his attitude toward preparedness is showing that he is slowly coming undone. It seems that he is losing his composure in the face of defeat.
Another part that struck me was when Shackleton ordered the killing of the dogs. I understand why he had to do it, but it was so sad. I can't imagine the mindless killing of pets. There is a difference between the dogs and the seals. Although it was sad when the killing of the seals was described, their deaths at least gave the men food. The dogs were very loyal to the men. When the author talked about how each dog went to their death with their tail wagging, my heart broke. I can't imagine how the men must have felt losing the affection of their dogs. To me, this act says defeat far more than killing a few extra seals for the winter. Shackleton's logic confuses me at times.
I'm really anxious to read Part IV and see how life aboard the boats will be. I anticipate a lot of optimism in the beginning due to the new experience and the sense of moving toward a goal. However, I am sure that the worst is yet to come.